Winter Patterns

Do you sometimes envy water? I do.

Artist Nature has no equal, and each season carries its own reminders of that fact. While water is essential year-round, its ability to change shape seems never more obvious than during winter, when it transforms from liquid into vapor, frost, graupel, sleet, snow, or ice. And maybe water’s changeability made apparent is the reason why I pay more attention to its various manifestations at this time of year than at any other.

Not only does the very character of water change in response to changes in temperature or pressure, so does its configuration. The various structures it can assume are remarkably attractive—just think of the hexagons of ice crystals, no two alike—and are expressions of Nature’s beautiful patterns.

Even though we humans are part of nature, the patterns we have woven across time and space are, more often than not, anything but beautiful. Like so many of you, I’m incredulous and aghast at this latest iteration of human-caused disorder and evil. I’m profoundly sad yet at the same time furious. But more than anything I feel completely powerless. This is one of the instances when, like water, I wish I could change my substance and evaporate into the ether. Evaporate, and in so doing, lift this pall of our collective sadness, the sinister specter of war and devastation, and more importantly, its causes.

But wishful thinking has never helped anybody and it won’t help in this case. What will?

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

63 thoughts on “Winter Patterns

  1. Your photos above are so interesting Tanja! Only about an hour ago I re-shared a quote that had appeared in my facebook feed and I really like it: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” –attributed to Jimi Hendrix

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy. I keep thinking about a question/statement by one of my history high school teachers: Have you ever wondered what life would be like/would have been like if all of us got along?
      And in the same vein, I remember a “hippie” saying that will never lose relevance: Imagine there is a war and nobody goes there/attends.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful images, Tanja.

    That madman wreaking havoc across the Ukraine must be stopped and Ms Liz’s quote from Jimi Hendrix says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Steve. That pattern definitely stopped me in my tracks (or, more concretely, in my car, as I had to pull over when I drove past that lake to take a photo). It’s a beautiful kind of interference, unlike the one that has the entire world upset right now.


  3. While reading your photo essay, the serenity prayer popped up in my mind: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Neil. The book is actually on one of our book shelves, but I haven’t yet read it. That’s the problem–too many great books, too little time. I will add it to my reading list. 😊📚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love each and every one of these photos, Tanja. The variety of water you captured is unbelievable! I agree that wishful thinking doesn’t help our world. I’m hoping that each time we notice and revel in nature, we at least realize we must not give up, and hopefully we convince others when we share our thoughts.
    P.S. The goose highway is just ab fab! Put a smile on my face instantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, these are sad, dark days. Your photos remind us that Nature remains wonderful, and beautiful, despite the best efforts of our own species to desecrate it. And the image of the geese footprints is perhaps a metaphor for the directionless chaos that the Ukraine tragedy has engendered amongst concerned onlookers who want to help but, as you say, feel powerless to act.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Solche Muster finde ich jedesmal faszinierend. Viel zu selten hier in Norddeutschland zu sehen.
    Hoffen wir für die Zukunft das Beste. Ich denke immer an das Zitat von Einstein: “Die Welt wird nicht bedroht von den Menschen, die böse sind, sondern von denen, die das Böse zulassen.”
    Für mich als unverbesserliche Optimistin sind diese Worte fast ein Mantra zu handeln und niemals den Kopf im Sand stecken zu lassen.
    Die Stellungnahme der Weltengemeinschaft gibt Hoffnung!
    LG Simone

    Liked by 1 person

    • Herzlichen Dank für den Kommentar, liebe Simone.
      Ich bin jedes Jahr von Neuem erstaunt, welche wunderbaren Kreationen der Winter doch schaffen kann.
      Und ich wünsche Dir und uns allen, daß sich Dein Optimismus bewahrheitet.
      Alles Gute,

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is easy to develop a habit of “one-dimensional” thinking. Water. We see it every day and think we know what it looks like. Then, along comes an artist who shows us how to think outside the box of our preconceived ideas.

    Thank you so much for sharing your excellent photographs which display patterns of what we thought was a familiar object!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What’s also distressing is that one Russian [choose your term] is capable of wreaking havoc not only on humans but also on the natural world. On the other hand, with his chosen targets involving areas rich in wheat and sunflower as well as gas and oil, he may end up uniting the entire world against him: or at least a goodly portion of it. Stories are beginning to emerge about dissatisfaction with his chosen course across Africa, for example. My hope is that his actions breed limiting consequences before truly terrible events take place.

    Your photos are delightful. The properties of water, and its ability to take so many forms, always has fascinated me. We don’t get to see all its forms here on a regular basis, so a post like yours is especially enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. Each winter I think I’m sharing similar photos, but I never grow bored with watching water transform itself and am glad to know others aren’t tired of seeing the results of those transformations either.
      I also share in your hope that even more horrible events can be prevented.
      Wishing for peace,


  9. Amazing photos! As I grew up in warmer places, I’ve never seen frozen lake but now I know it’s so beautiful showing how mother nature can create such a terrific view to us. Thank you for sharing❄️🧊💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Liebe Tanja, ich bin sehr begeistert von deiner Zusammenstellung ungewöhnlicher Winterfotos.
    Sie sind voller Stimmung, Faszination und magischem Zauber.
    Liebe Grüße aus dem frühlingshaften Bergischen Land….von Rosie 😊🌈💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sadly, only time will solve (hopefully) the evil that is wreaking death and destruction in Ukraine right now. One hears stories of Russians railing against the war but as was evidenced by Putin’s rally the other day, he has plenty of support. Of course, the story most Russians are getting from the controlled press there is quite different from reality. One hopes the, given time and exposure, more will revolt against him and it seems that is happening as he attacks those whom he calls “traitors”.
    I am not sure I envy water but, as you know, I certainly do enjoy and respect the element. You’ve captured some wonderful abstracts of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Steve. I can’t even bring myself to watch news right now, they only heighten my baseline anxiety. Somehow, naively, I thought we were done with wars and threats of nuclear assaults, but I was obviously wrong. 😢
      Wishing and hoping for peace,


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